So, I've never really been the one my friends call if they're looking to have fun. I suspect my inability to have fun correlates directly with my lack of invites. I suppose it's because I'm always the one reminding everyone we might get in trouble, and for goodness sake, someone could get hurt (spoken in my best Grandma Doris tone).
I've been given many illustrations over the last few weeks, some funny and some just down-right beautiful.
Illustration #1 (funny): So, Julia, my 11-year-old daughter tells me the following story: Mom, this is hilarious. You know how Steve said in his sermon about having fun driving in the snow?! (Um, yeah.) So, we're driving home (in a snowstorm) and Steve does a doughnut right in front of a horse and buggy-to scare them. (She's laughing and thinks it's the best thing ever.) I was like, oh my word, were you scared?! Her answer was the kicker of the whole story...No, Nancy and I were just looking at each other and laughing. Screeechhh, halt, stop this story...Picture this: a pastor, doing doughnuts with his 70 some year old mama and an 11 year old, whose mama is scared-to-death of driving in the snow from home to Weis. The whole thing just cracked me up. It's one reason I appreciate Steve-he pushes the envelope all the time-and reminds me to "lighten up and live a little". I'm not always certain if he's having too much fun to realize it or if he's doing it on purpose.
Illustration #2 (funny): So, my 13 year old son, learned an incredibly fun, eh hemm, game from his youth leader. Apparently, the point of the game is put your nose on as many unsuspecting people as you can, while in a crowd. Only a boy could think of this-for real. So he tells me the story of he and his friends doing this while at the Christkindl market. Apparently there was a group of Mennonite girls, and my son put his nose on every.single.one of these unsuspecting ladies. So, I know we should definitely talk about his choice of gender and age, but anywhoo...to him, this is just so fun. I asked him, what do you do if someone knows you've done this? He came up with some ridiculous answer, almost as ridiculous as the game.
Illustration #3 (hmmm): We had the most beautiful snow yesterday. It was just a good day. We visited the market, the kids played in the snow, and in the evening we walked (more like trudged and I was about half-crying because the snow was blowing in our faces-think of the beginning scenes of the movie, Christmas Vacation when they're going to get their tree) to the administrative building in town to let the kids sled ride. Ana and I returned home earlier than everyone else because she was cold. And Jim returned Gabriel to us about an hour later while Jim and Julia walked our niece home. After returning, Jim tells me that he carried Julia the whole way home on his shoulders. I'm like, huh?-on your shoulders?! For one, Julia is 11. For another, I'm picturing myself climbing up on someones shoulders, trusting them to walk me 3 blocks in the snow, while I just enjoy the ride, uh, no thank you. ....
...so I'm reading in Matthew this morning and the Lord illuminates this verse, "Whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven". Immediately, the Lord started bringing to mind the incidents above, one by one, showing me how each child in each story trusted the leader; whether it be the driver, the youth leader, or the father. It was apparent that each child had fun.
In my own life, it's been hard to trust because trust was broken when I was a small child, abused for years by someone who was supposed to protect me and love me. People have walked in and out of my life several times.
I know I'm not alone in this.
I know, too, that I'm not alone in finding it difficult to TRUST.
All of us have had people walk out, betray us, say mean and untrue things about us. Parents have divorced, husbands have walked out, children have disowned, friends have un-friended. Each one of us have hurt others and been hurt by others.
He is a loving Father who promises to "Always be with us". Always.
He is the only one who is perfectly trust-worthy.
Do we understand and believe the steadfastness of God?
Do we understand and believe His promise that He will never leave?
Do we understand and believe that He is a loving Father, who delights in putting us on His shoulders?
If I really believed this, I think I'd enjoy the moments of life a whole lot more.
Praying to learn to TRUST more deeply, to have fun with my Father.
So thankful for the people the Lord has put in our lives as illustrations of learning to TRUST HIM.